Panny 42" ED Plasma or???

Discussion in 'Displays' started by ScottRCapt, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. ScottRCapt

    ScottRCapt Stunt Coordinator

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    Greetings,

    I am hoping to obtain some advice from those who have gone before me into the Large Screen universe. Please be gentle as I know I am a late arrival to the widescreen party...

    I currently own a 32" CRT RCA TV and am about ready to upgrade. My family viewing time is spent with 70% standard TV via Direct TV, 10% Sports - mostly Football and NASCAR, and 20% DVD movies. My seating area is 9 - 10 feet from the screen. Some viewing is from a large angle to the side of the screen from a dining table.

    My research has led me to the conclusion that a Panasonic 42" commercial ED Plasma TH-42PWD8UK may be my best solution. I have been very impressed with the level of detail and black levels in the non-commercial version of this Panasonic (TH-42PD25UP) I do not need the speakers included with this version however. I understand the screen on the TH-42PWD8UK is even better than the TH-42PD25UP. HD looks great to me on the TH-42PD25UP (even better than some of the HD 42" Plasmas displayed nearby in my opinion. And from what I can gather SD programming and DVD Movies are better suited to a ED Plasma than HD. Correct?

    I might prefer a larger than 42" screen with my viewing distance but with standard definition programming and DVD movies being the majority of our viewing I tend to believe the extra definition of a larger HD screen (either DLP/LCD or Plasma) may be lost on us. I also would have to switch to a DLP or LCD projection TV from a financial standpoint. These look good as well but the viewing angle situation is a problem for us.

    Anyone have any confirming or differing comments? I just would like to be sure I am headed in the right direction.

    Thanks in advance for any and all replies!

    :wink:
     
  2. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    By about 8 feet distance from the screen, people with 20/20 vision cannot decern the resolution difference between an HD and an ED set at a 42" size. The images may still look different due to processing ... but no more detail is visible on the HD set.

    While nice to have the extra resolution ... you would be paying for something you can't see.

    Hard to say if DVD or SD is more suited to ED or HD ... in both cases, the signal still needs to be processed to fit the panel ... and neither panel is a perfect match for these formats.

    Just make sure you properly break in the plasma set before spending too much time watching in 4:3 mode or w/s movies.

    The first 500 hours are the most sensitive on the plasma sets.

    Regards
     
  3. ScottRCapt

    ScottRCapt Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael TLV,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Do you think that since there is no difference between HD and ED in just the 42" size that I should go with that size Plasma ED at my viewing distance or should I go to a 50" DLP or LCD and suffer the side viewing problems to avoid the burn in issues?
     
  4. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Much depends on the space you have in the room. Some like the slimmer profile of the plasma ...

    The DLP and LCD RP units will have the advantage of being bigger and give you the 720p HD panels ...

    The RP units will also be better with lots of ambient light given their screen design. Not a big piece of glass.

    The side viewing concerns are overblown. The sets are still very watchable at 45-60 degrees off axis.

    You get better dynamic range in the picture with the plasma unit though. It is the only one that looks more like a CRT set.

    Every technology has its tradeoffs ...

    Regards
     
  5. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    My room is pretty much the same (10X14 with dining area off to the side etc) and with a viewing distance of 7 1/2 feet. In the stores, using a DVD feed, my wife could see the screen door effect at a measured seven feet on the ED units (didn't bother me). We ended up going with a quasi HD display (1024X768) and it's been great....even better once the cable company began offering HD boxes.

    Some things to consider between the commercial and consumer units is though you don't need speakers, they are handy when just wanting to watch the news, or the like, so you don't have to fire up all the HT gear. With the commercial panels you'll have to purchase either a stand or wall mounting hardware as well as any DVI/HDMI or component input blades....extra. Commercial units are generally warrantied for carry in service vs the consumer units being serviced in home if necessary.

    Suggest you try and view the ED and HD panels with the same input (preferably DVD since most everything looks good in HD loops) side by side at a measured viewing distance and see what looks best to your eyes. Before I made my final decision I even took in VHS tapes to get an idea of what things would look like with the worst possible input. That gave me a better indication of the abilities of different panels to convert input to their native display rates.

    Good Hunting

    Mort
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

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    I'd go with that one.. If VHS looks acceptable, so will your average SD content from broadcast and cable...
     

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